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To Clip or Not to Clip?
One Afternoon in the Hub Forums . .
Some poor, unsuspecting Hubber asked whether or not it was a good idea to clip coupons.
The first answerer stated that she did sometimes clip coupons, but didn't get into it a lot.
The second answerer wrote ---- in a similar vein --- that she clipped coupons sometimes, especially for baby things --- by which, I surmised, she might have had a baby in her household.
(Hey, am I a great detective, or what? And you've been wondering why I read and review all those cozy mystery novels.)
I Agree, But . . .
I agree with the two previous answers.
I do clip coupons once in a while, but most coupons I've seen are for things I could never use anyway.
Or, could never afford, even with the coupon.
Or, don't even need, like, or want.
I also find that lots of times the generic or store brand is a better deal without a coupon.
Sometimes I do only want the name brand, for certain things that I'm used to and like a lot. Coupons are good for that. It depends on the item --- and on how much I like something.
With some high-quality, name brand coupon items --- which are few and far between --- you have to be careful, because they have a very short expiration date.
What Are They Trying to Prove?
I've had the misfortune of standing at the checkout counter while the shopper in front of me had so many coupons, that the "savings" ended up coming out to over one hundred dollars ($100) or something (seemingly) awesome.
I say "misfortune" because the bill would still be some astronomical amount, like two hundred ($200) or so, and it was way too much to carry, and it looked like some of it might melt before they got home, and it looked like a bunch of pre-pack and prepared foods that aren't so good anyway.
Had it been a contest to see how many coupons one could clip and use in a day, these folks might have won it. But, really, I just felt that it wasn't such a useful exercise as far as the real world goes.
Don't forget that expiration date!!
Two For One - "Buy one, get one free" - BOGO
I appreciate two for one (BOGO) sandwiches and things like that, for certain low-price restaurant or sub chains.
I depend on the bus for transportation, so I have to think about which restaurants or fast-food joints are on the routes of the buses that I use.
The thing you want to look at, most, in your whole assessment is --- value.
What Has the Most Value For You?
It's not just about money, either. It's about what has the most value to you right now.
You want to look at time, nutrition, how much you like or enjoy a thing, how much storage space you may have, what kind of transportation you're using . . . etc.
Sometimes I even factor in what the working conditions are at a particular grocery store, or how much I can carry on the bus. Just be sure to include all the things that make a difference in your own life. Otherwise, you won't be really making the best decision FOR YOURSELF and your family. That's the most important thing.
Too Many Coupons?
I buy a lot of locally-grown and raised foods, also. The best coupon for those is to get to know the farmers and have a relationship with them. They usually give lots of nice discounts to regulars anyway.
And --- the main thing --- this way, you know exactly where your food is coming from, how it was raised or grown. If you have any questions, you can ask the farmer directly.
No Cold Cereal
Many coupons are for cold cereals.
Cold cereals are already grossly overpriced, so it can be tempting to use coupons for cold cereals. We've been conditioned --- by cereal companies --- to believe cold cereal is good for us. I used to believe that the main problems with cold cereal is the sugar that is added to them, or perhaps the artificial coloring.
Those are problems, also, but the Weston A. Price Foundation believes that the extrusion process by which cold cereals are made renders the cereal very unhealthy, no matter what grain the cereal is made of, and no matter how little sugar is on it.
- Beating the Food Giants by Paul A. Stitt — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists
Beating the Food Giants has 11 ratings and 2 reviews. Nate said: To think that a worker for Quaker ended up being the mastermind behind the startup compa...
My most humiliating coupon story.
This story is highly indicative of what can happen when one goes crazy for coupons.
This story is also very embarrassing, because I am the perpetrator of this mischief myself. I can't point the finger at another idiot.
I was the only idiot involved in this lunacy.
Embarrassed by My Own Stupidity!
Once, I had a store coupon from a flyer in the store, which I combined with a manufacturer's coupon from the Sunday supplement in the paper.
I was very proud of myself when I realized I could combine these two coupons, and get two boxes of Hamburger Helper for eighty-three cents (0.83¢.)
I did not have any cash with me, so I wrote a check for the 0.83¢
Unfortunately, I only had about eighty-one cents (0.81¢) in my account when that check hit.
Those two boxes of Hamburger Helper ended up costing me, all told ---- due to overdraft fees from the bank AND the store, plus other fines and fees --- more than $120.
By that time, the mere thought of Hamburger helper made me sick with shame and regret, but I realized throwing them away would have made the cost even higher: $120.83.
So, I had to cook and eat those two boxes of Hamburger Helpers--- along with a large helping of crow.
My dear friend, the crow.
If you've never heard the expression, "eat crow." (It is not the same as "eat dirt," btw)
- eat crow - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
Definition of eat crow in the Idioms Dictionary. eat crow phrase. What does eat crow expression mean? Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. [NB: NOT the same as "eating &@#$*" or eating dirt," despite what certain sources imply. ~ Huntgod
- eat crow - Wiktionary
Make your own.
What exactly IS Hamburger Helper anyway?
If you boil some egg noddles, sauté some burger meat, then mix them both with some sauce (which you can also make by mixing some flour in melted butter, then gradually mixing in some liquid while stirring) --- you got yourself a nice stovetop one-dish meal, just like Hamburger Helper, but without the packaging, or preservatives, MSG, artificial flavors, colors, energy for shipping, et al
I really don't have anything against Hamburger Helper (well, ok, except the preservatives and MSG) I just like to keep things simple --- and cheap.
Here is one recipe for homemade "Hamburger Helper."
- Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipes from Scratch - MissHomemade.com
This homemade hamburger helper is made from scratch with wholesome ingredients.
Please don't think I'm saying coupons are bad.
Below is a nice couponing website by a young mom with three kids, to prove that I don't think coupons are bad.
It's a matter of balance. Use them wisely and well.
Perhaps this young mom can help with that. She has a free newsletter you can sign up for.